Morning Live Blog – Western Louisiana Convention

Keep hitting refresh.

Resolutions committee was interesting this morning. The liberal members of our Diocese will attempt the usual procedural and other ploys to prevent the convention from taking action on the resolution I posted last night. Prayers needed.

Okay. We are getting started.

Standing Committee organizational meeting after convention session this afternoon.

Address beginning.

Prayer: O Risen Christ, Lord of the Harvest, as farmers patiently waited over the barren soil, so we wait for your harvest…new hope in your resurrects us each day. Unite us in Christ to yield a rich harvest. May each person be cherished as indispensable to the life and happiness of each one of us…reconciliation…peace…disciples making disciples. Quiet moment…

In keeping with the theme of this years conventions – disciples making disciples – Paul to Ephesians – Paul offering thankgiving…blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…who has blessed…he chose us before the foundation of the world that we would be holy and blameless before him…through Jesus Christ…grace freely bestowed on us in Jesus…forgiveness of our trespasses…riches of his grace…made known to us all wisdom and the mystery of his will..according to his purpose in Jesus Christ…

Four years ago, this month, Grace Monroe, for Bruce’s first convention as bishop. Today it seems like so long ago. Yet, in other ways, it was just yesterday. Much has taken place in our lives..personally and corporately…three hurricanes since Bruce’s arrival…some have suggested a correlation in this < – grin ->…We can’t believe what has happened since he arrived either…together, we have experienced much, and accomplished good things. Bruce’s message has been to call us to be about the mission of God’s Church…committed to discipleship and preaching the message of the Gospel. Can’t let issues derail the mission and ministry of our Diocese. If we are going to take our call seriously, we much be about proclaiming the Gospel and not beating each other up over the issues of the church…if we do not stand firm in our mission we will have succumbed to the Devil. Will not permit our ministry to derailed and ran off the track. Mindful of examination and oath when he was consecrated bishop in the church catholic. Reads ordination vows from the BCP. Good stuff.

These words offered are indelible on Bruce’s heart. Bear same depth of commitment today as in the September pastoral letter…me and my household, serve the Lord. Continued commitment to path of faithful fulfillment of the Gospel. Actions of past Diocesan Conventions and the reconciliation gatherings. Over and over, we have voiced the desire to remain in the Anglican Communion…on both sides of the issues. Remain in Communion. Some would like to affiliate with this group or that, but looking at these groups…their direction no more definitive than that which is before us..other than to be disciples making disciples. Benedictine Scotman, our bishop, I cannot precipitously. I won’t. Process has rested with the Primates in their response to the American Church. We must see fulfillment of the process.

HOB meeting…ABC asking Primates to response by October 31. Conversations…he is confident the answer will be clear and will be soon. Next 18 days…we will know the decision of the wider communion with respect to our place in it. Since HOB…Bruce has personally communicated with ABC about our continued recognition (as stated by Bruce in Dar)…in keeping with this, concern with waiting for Diocesan Convention next year…if action is needed, we will have a special convention per our Diocesan canons…Bruce will do so. Changes in the articles/constitution…2/3rd vote at 2 annual conventions.

Recent HOB meeting… reports of reception have been mixed. Bruce thinks response inadequate. Reference pastoral letter of September. Much of what happened…never known or seen by outside…failed. Confessed silence by Bruce…the critical explanation was in Dar by Bruce…that is where he stands…statement reverberated across the church. Things done in the last eight years as bishop in the church catholic not enough..I’m sorry, but I must be about my Father’s business…accused Bruce of denying Jesus as Peter did…but look at Peter’s later works…Peter..rock build church, powers of death shall not prevail against it.

Ministry of this Diocese is built on this rock. Jesus words…no power shall prevail against it.

Sunday visits…church’s one foundation is Jesus (hymn)…if we are going to build on this foundation…we must be people of vision…Proverbs.. no vision, people perish. Continuing call to faithful ministry.. we must Trust God. Habbakuk last sunday…right my vision..make it plain upon the tablets…vision awaits its time…hastens to the end…wait for will surely will not delay..righteous shall live by his faith.

Visions began to unfold as we were called to a year of reconciliation and healing…knew this was necessary to build the Kingdom of God…needed each other…three day training event…convocational gatherings…650 people participated in these events. Positive energy for ministry. Thanks Judge Drell for chairing this…those that spent time and treasure on this. Much insight…greater sense of Diocese wanting to share in ministry. Challenge – truly sharing in ministry rather than talking about it in small groups. People want more small groups..but past attempts has had negligible response.

For the moment, pause…give thanks to all of you for prayers, notes, etc…surgery since July. Past two years have provided for periods of great frustration as I wrestled with my leg following my accident. Dr. Bill Webb of Cathedral…leg is wonderful…no pain, no crutches. I’ll jump right off here and show you (No…no.)

Healing of Diocese since hurricanes..still work to do. Each day better…Open Door ministry in Lake Charles at Church of our Savior which has been repaired. Recipients of offering at opening Eucharist… Hold LA and Miss. in prayer. Bishops brought $$$ (10,000) to HOB. In gathering $931,000 to LA and Miss. Bruce did not take an offering…as we had contributed $26,500 to each Diocese just a few months earlier. Closer to home..Mt. Olivet work is moving slowly. Windows removed and being restored in work not yet started. Architect apologized for delay. signs of progress minimal. Should be completed within the year…rededication at next years convention.

ECW growing their ministry…time for joy weekend for young Moms…Com on spiritual formation has completed first year with offering retreats on formation and on addictions and recovery (Bruce speaks of this…thanks Reese for his commitment.) Dr. White – Education – confirmation preparation curriculum to be prepared. Evangelism..thanks Judge Drell and Paul Martin for their work with congregations. School of theology – increase in number..two postulants..thanks Dr. McBride and faculty. Institute of lay ministry..convocational training for LEMS..thanks Dr. Boyd. Hardtner…tremendous leadership this last year. Summer camp. Thanks Pat Higgins and Boo Kay. Youth and young adults…thanks Monet Brashear.

Six Canterbury ministries…re-establish Canterbury at Grambling (big priority for bishop based on a conversation we had)…work at Canterbury at Centenary – handicapped access. Stewardship. Daughter of the King. Cursillo. Louisiana Interchurch Conference. Disaster relief with ERD and others…thanks Liz Ratcliff. Thanks Com. on Ministry. Commission on schools.. anti-rascism commission. International mission. Kairos Prison Ministry. Thanks to those whose generosity, care and love…brought about care for and others.

Travel around the Diocese…people’s lives being changed and touched. We may fret about much…but these things are the mission of the church and the will of God. All these things are part of the fabric of Diocese..move beyond differences to focus on the Gospel. When we share a vision of being disciples making disciples…personally reconciled to God and through Him to one another..the things he has done, we will do greater things.

One other ministry – many other signs of health are being experienced but unnoticed. Acknowledgment of the Alive, our paper. New format, color, etc. Advisory board for paper. Dean Clark and anti-racism to get our participation wider. Talking about Jena..can happen anywhere. Work of reconciliation by +Bruce and Susan in Jena. +Bruce one of four church leaders to help bring reconciliation there; been asked to return and follow up. Violence in communities…work lost in disaster relief work..but we must take this up.

The Future. Vision that will embrace every congregation…disregard to size. Early in the year…Evangelism event…noted international evangelism leader. Not unto itself, but folks will go home with materials to share with their congregation. Each congregation will use this to explore how each can proclaim the Gospel and the faith. We have to provide what is needed…Let Jesus be seen in our lives. Each parish to be a beacon for Christ…light shine before others…member of Evangelism will be there to assist. You folks asked for this; please participate. If we are truly serious about building up the body of Christ..Paul to Corinth..body has many members. Draw on reconciliation work and build upon..bridge to greater ministry of disciples making disciples. Mission of discipleship to which we are called to be done, we must go forward in Faith. 11 Hebrews – faith is assurance of things hoped for…therefore, we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…run with perserverance the race.

Convention dinner last night. Uganda children’s orphanage choir…orphans due to AIDS…witness of the children.. let the little children come to me…such as these to whom the Kingdom of God belongs. Awards again…Mt. Olivet award…honorary lay canons.

Closing – honor to be your bishop…not our ministry, but the Lord’s…thanks Diane, Kathy, Canon Larry.  Diane has worked for us for 25 years..on her third bishop.  Last person to be recognized…Susan MacPherson…49 years of marriage.

Closing prayer…

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